Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Short and Sweet.

This afternoon I got out for a little over an hour on the allroad bike for an allroad ride. From West Asheville->Clingman->downtown->College->Town Mtn->???->Baird->Sunset->Patton Mountain->Town Mountain->downtown->Clingman->back to West Asheville.
I'm still reeling from the after-effects of Icycle weekend, especially from the crash on the downhill practice run. My hip is pretty jacked. Add to that a bit of lingering dehydration and you get a slow and lazy Eric. It took forever to get out the door then I moseyed downtown and didn't start to feel warmed up until Sunset. The gravel road (Patton Mountain) got me excited though and I pushed pretty hard to the top. It's a beautiful day today in West Asheville with bright sunny skies and temps around 60 but at the top it felt more like 45 and I didn't have an extra layer.  I took the easy way out and dropped back into town rather than continuing up and over to Webb which was my original plan. I hit 43 mph on the way back down so, you know, it turned into a quality ride after all. A bit short but still not bad for a Tuesday. 

View 2012-01-31 12:33 in a larger map

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Who ARE we right now?

 photo credit: Brado 
Icycle 2012. What can I say? The Icycle is officially the one event that I've been to more than any other (strictly as a participant). I think my first time up there was in '98 or '99 back when Claude and Jason ran things. The Icycle is best described as a midwinter party where a race breaks out every now and again. Cross Country during the day and downhill race at night. I arrived at Fontana at 9:30AM and settled into my room then rode over to the rec center and for some reason or another signed up for both the cross country and downhill races. My first cross country race in 10 years started at 11AM and it took just over 90 minutes for me to complete the three laps. I don't know how I did but I felt great so that's all that really matters. Well, I only lost one place during the first lap and two during the third and I made hairball passes on the downhill every time.
The 'special test' at Icycle is then to not start partying too hard before the downhill race starts at dark:30. Hanging with Shrimper and his bugle at the bottom of the downhill during the expert/SS race made that test especially hard, too. I tore myself away from the constant laughs and Mike R., Jody F., Tomato, and I were on the shuttle truck by 2PM to start our practice runs. The first few times chasing Mike down the hill were maybe the fastest I've ever dropped the Turkey Chute. We were on fire. My first run in the lead was punctuated by a spectacular high speed crash by yours truly. Mike was obviously very surprised and relieved that I wasn't injured. I figure I got in a total of 15 or so runs down the .5 mile 500' drop course before my 'light test' run and my one timed run. By the time my start came around it was cold as hell and I was a bit fatigued by the day's events so I didn't try to be a hero, I just rode the course one more time. I don't know my place but if I recall correctly my timed run came in at 1:48.
Then, everything became a bit blurry. Icycle. Too many funny moments to try to recall. Too many good friends to try to list. Oh, and bike racing. You should be there next year.

View 2012-01-28 10:59 in a larger map

Friday, January 20, 2012

It doesn't get easier.

I just walked in from what is known around my house as the 3 hour ride. Starting at Bent Creek Gap-> Blue Ridge Parkway-> NC276-> FS1206-> FS5000 back to Bent Creek Gap.

Today's stats: Total Distance: 32.7 mi Total Time: 3:16:02 Moving Time: 2:50:14 Average Speed: 10.0 mi/h Average Moving Speed: 11.5 mi/h Max Speed: 41.5 mi/h Min Elevation: 2340 ft Max Elevation: 4972 ft Elevation Gain: 4630 ft

I was on the bike just before 11AM after a relaxing morning. Zoe was at childcare and Erinna and I both had the morning off. My motivation level was near zero but I knew today was my only chance to ride. I was pleasantly surprised by the warmish temperatures at the start. I didn't need to bring have the gear I had packed. Matter 'o fact as soon as I got started I had to strip off a thermal layer. The warm-up was viciously hard. I've been a bit sick for the past week and hadn't been on my bike in two weeks so getting my heartrate up was a painful task.
I decided there was no shame in stopping at nearly every beautiful overlook along the way to ease that pain. Once I was warmed up the miles started clicking by steadily and I reached most landmarks before I thought they should be there.

 I stopped again at the Pisgah Inn for photos then really started to find a groove heading to NC276.
   There I saw a guy taking photos so I asked if he would take a shot of me then I did the same for him.
 The 276 descent was next and awesome. I was trying to find the pothole that took out Wes D. and managed at reach my max speed of 41.5 along the way. I turned on 1206 and, feeling pretty good, hammered. Well that lasted until the creepy pine stand. All that hammering made it so I needed a break. I felt like I just may be starting to bonk.
  I felt great once I had a little food in me and 1206 started to go by quickly. I was starting to ride that line between pushing just hard enough and too hard. The strangest things got me. The flats after Pilot took forever. The strangest things felt awesome. The climb out of Bradley Creek was over before I expected. I stopped and gave a guy directions at the Laurel Mountain trailhead, put the Pisgah jersey back on at Yellow Gap, and absolutely hammered the 3 miles down the North Mills River. I had to remind myself to be cautious, that I didn't want to become a hood ornament, but still hung it out pretty far and reached 32mph on gravel. The turn up 5000 marked the final leg of the ride and the switch really flipped. As soon as the hill pointed upward I was hurting. bad. The climb back to the parkway was as hard as I've ever experienced it. I just kept my head down, stared at my bottom bracket, and pedaled. Even though I was starting to see stars the first gate appeared, then the second at Spencer. Up the steep then the third gate. Home free.

View 2012-01-20 10:55 in a larger map

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 PMBAR registration is now CLOSED

Hey Everybody! Thanks for the amazing response. We sold every team spot for the 2012 Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race in less than one week.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen... Welcome... to the Enduro Lounge

Great ride today on new trails and old with new friends and old.